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Governing strategically

The Pennsylvania School Boards Association has advised that “school boards are most effective when they concentrate their time and energy on using the authority delegated to them to govern at the strategic level.” What is your understanding of what it means “to govern at a strategic level?” If elected to the School Board, what one or two issues would you want the Board to consider on day one?

Governing strategically

School Boards are most effective when they are nonpartisan and govern at the strategic level. To us, that means being responsible for four basic functions:

1. Setting long-term goals and an annual plan for the school district.

2. Overseeing the Superintendent who implements the plan and manages day-to-day running of the district, and holding the Administration accountable for student achievement.

3. Passing and managing a budget that enables the district to have sufficient teachers and staff to achieve learning priorities, and maintain facilities that are safe and accessible.

4. Establishing district policies that reflect the local community and are consistent with federal and state laws.

All of these have to be achieved recognizing the diverse needs of a student population of more than 5,200 students, many with unique educational needs, and constantly working with the Administration to balance limited resources to meet those needs.

What is NOT governing at a strategic level is when school board members try to micromanage teachers or cede control over curriculum decisions to outside special interest groups. Neither is banning books or pushing partisan policies that alienate or discriminate against any groups of students. That’s not the Carlisle way. Our community deserves better.

Two issues we would like to focus on in 2024 are:

1. Seeing through to completion the K-8 restructuring project. This has great potential for our students and community and will help sustain our district for years to come.

2. Continuing an intense focus on increasing graduation rates and academic achievement, particularly in math.

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